Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 1, No. 9 Page 10 September 1999

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles
Priscilla's Page

The Christian Teacher
In The Public Schools

By Rebecca Rushmore

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity” (James 3:6).

“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh” (James 3:8-12, warnings against foul language).

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21, “lasciviousness” = sensuality or promiscuous sexual behavior; “revellings” = marching through the streets under the influence of wine and celebrating Bacchus the god of wine; carousing.  Surely, these words are good descriptions of modern dancing.)

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).

“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work” (Titus 3:1).

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-3).

The above verses demonstrate some basic principles of Christian knowledge and behavior. If one looks at the world around us, these ideas are not readily in evidence.  There may be no better place to see the lack of these standards than the public schools.

As a Christian teacher in a public school system, I frequently run head-on into parents, students, fellow teachers and administrators who have abandoned the teachings of the Bible.  First consider the question of our very existence.  The Bible tells us that God created the universe and all that is in it in six days.  From kindergarten to college, textbooks and curriculums tell the unsuspecting student that he is the result of evolutionary chance after a big bang.  This is not just true of science books.  Social studies, reading and health reinforce the concept.  Age does not exempt one from being taught such nonsense.

Young children are told the earth is billions of years old.  As the student gets older, stories of cavemen and ape-like ancestors are added.  Finally, the Big Bang theory and all its components (natural selection, mutations, millions of years, etc.) are thrown into the mix to tie it all together.  In the end, you have a child who believes there is no God and he and everything else around him is the result of pure chance.

As a Christian, I know this is completely untrue.  Yet, by law, I cannot tell the students how false the concept is, I cannot tell them what I believe, and I cannot indicate any alternatives to the evolutionary theory.  I cannot even suggest that there may be evidence that proves this theory is false.  If you think it is a difficult task to cover the required curriculum, knowing the students are being misled and you cannot steer them in the right direction, you are absolutely correct.  It becomes even more difficult when the evolutionary theory creeps into subjects that are not science (i.e. a social studies unit on the earliest civilizations) or a science unit on something as simple as natural resources.

Another concept that is many times difficult to teach involves the family life curriculum taught to all ages in many schools.  Each school system is a little different in what it teaches.  Basically, the school board decides how it will teach what the state says it must on the subject.  The school board or its representative monitors and approves the materials used in the classroom.  It is up to the teachers to present the material to the students.  Much of the information is good and needed by students.  However, ideally it needs to be taught at home by parents!

Also, morality is not allowed to be taught along with the facts.  Hebrews 13:4 tells us sex is reserved for a man and his wife.  Yet the family life curriculum does not explain this principle.  In fact, some programs go so far as to advocate “safe sex.”  Implied is the idea that as long as you are “safe” you do not have to wait for marriage.  Some programs also teach “alternate lifestyles” as an acceptable way to live.  The result of this teaching in our schools is a generation of children who feel very little respect for their bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and few moral convictions.

Many people today have very little respect for authority.  This is also seen very clearly in the schools.  Students frequently talk back to teachers, administrators and other adults employed in the school.  They destroy property of others, disobey school and classroom rules, and ignore any instructions they do not feel like complying with.  These attitudes and actions are in direct violation of Scripture (Ephesians 6:1-3, Titus 3:1).

Often, when you see the parent or parents of such children, you witness the same disrespect in the parents and in the child toward his parents.  As a teacher of such children, it is difficult to teach when there is no respect for your authority. As a Christian, it is even more difficult to realize that these same children have no respect for God and his Word that will one day judge them.  To make matters worse, by law, you as the teacher can make no references to your religious beliefs and very little reference to God.  Lack of respect for authority in any form is rapidly destroying our homes, our schools, our society and our souls.

Several other situations come to mind as I reflect on other aspects of the public schools that make it difficult for the Christian teacher.  Though many schools have a policy against cussing, it is in general not enforced unless directed at a teacher, and sometimes not even then.  The language of the students as you walk through the halls would sometimes make a sailor cringe.  All schools have a dress code of some kind.  For the most part, these require modest apparel.  However, it is still likely students will be dressed in clothes Christians would consider indecent (too tight, too low, hem too high).  School sponsored dances, chaperoned by teachers, can also cause some concern for Christian teachers.  Probably many other situations occur in the public schools that make a Christian uncomfortable.

Is teaching in a public school impossible for a Christian?  No.  Is it difficult at times?  YES!  There is no easy way to get around the problems faced by a Christian in the public schools.  However, who is better qualified to set the example for these children than a Christian teacher?  Many students come from broken homes and are truly part of the dysfunctional family.  Many do not have anyone at home who cares for them.  Some of these children have seen horrors in and around their homes some of us cannot even dream of.  Christian teachers are needed in the public schools, if for no other reason than to be an example to the children who have none at home.

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Louis Rushmore, Editor
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